Day 5: Jerome, Tuzigoot, & Dead Horse Ranch

Today I would consider a lazy day. We left the house around 11am and headed to the city of Jerome, which is considered a ghost town. The city reminded Derek of the Florida Keys just with more elevation. Most of our time was spent going in and out of the local shops and having some lunch at a local eatery called the Iron Flat Café. Gatlin and Derek had a ginger and carrot soup (sounded and tasted interesting.) Then a lovely downpour started, sort of dampening our day. Almost every single shop was either an art gallery or gifts that were made by local artists. We found a lot of amazing art work. There was a very artsy/hippy feel to the place, loved that. They seemed to have a sort of an aversion to children. Each shop had some kind of smart-ass sign or poster in the front that would say something to the line of “All young children must be supervised by an adult, if not we will kidnap them and force them to work in our coal mine for the remaining years of their lives.” Not even a joke. About 90 percent of that is a direct quote. Vanessa found it amusing. The area seemed very pet-friendly.

Afterward, we went to visit some more Indian ruins named Tuzigoot (which was also part of the tribe, Sinagua, which also built Montezuma’s Castle…one of the ruins we saw on our first day.) It’s kind of funny that we have no idea why this tribe of Native Americans just up and left, it was somewhere around the 1420’s, seems pretty obvious the white man scared them off. There is just so much that we don’t know about the people who lived on this land way before we ever did. The ingenuity of these people is inspiring. Not only did they make amazing things we probably couldn’t do without machines but they used herbal remedies for everything. From candy to curing cancer, these Indians had a remedy from a naturally –growing-abundant plant. It really makes you stop and kind of question everything you thought you knew; something that we would have to get approved by our health insurance and then order through some far off pharmaceutical company they had just growing in their backyard. Gatlin was pretty enthralled by the medicinal value of the native plants and we stood their studying the names and uses of the plants for a while, at one point I think he actually embodied one of his World of Warcraft characters and started grinding some Sage into a potpourri. Actually it looked really fun.

The best part of this visit was that it was ruined by flying ants. Yep, you got that right. We couldn’t go to the top of the building because there was a sign that said “Closed Due to flying ants.” I don’t know about you but that is pretty hilarious. I don’t know what I should have expected if I went past the sign. Flying ant attack? Either way I didn’t take the risk. Those winged little insects are intimidating. Don’t let their size fool you.
Lunch was made at Dead Horse Ranch, a small park with some surrounding lagoons and a river that was not much to look at. We took a river hike and searched for the river for about 20 minutes and came up empty. We then realized that the river had dried up big time and was now un-swimmable and right under our feet. But there were lots of snails everywhere. Cute little squirmy things. I'm afraid we stepped on a lot of them and didn't even realize it =/

Big bummer about no swimming ops though.

That night we hoped to go back to Bell Rock which we had hiked to the night before but we got back too late. Double bummer. The highlight of this day was definitely seeing all of the amazing artwork from the locals in Jerome.

Good stuff.


Derek & Vanessa